When it comes to building a website, search engine optimisation (SEO) plays a crucial role in driving organic traffic and improving visibility. While most people focus on optimising text-based content, they often overlook the importance of optimising images. Images not only enhance the visual appeal of your website but also contribute to your overall SEO efforts. In this article, we will explore the importance of image SEO, various image optimisation techniques, and how to apply them in Wix to improve your website's search engine rankings.
Importance of Image SEO
Enhanced User Experience
Image SEO involves optimising elements like alt tags and captions, which provide descriptive information about the image. This optimisation not only helps search engines understand the content of the image but also assists visually impaired users who rely on screen readers to access website content. By ensuring that images are properly labelled and described, website owners can create a more inclusive and friendlier user experience.
Image Search Rankings
Optimising images helps search engines understand the context and relevance of the visual content on a website. By incorporating relevant keywords in image file names, alt tags, and captions, website owners can improve the chances of their images ranking higher in image search results. Higher rankings increase the visibility of images and can drive more organic traffic to the website.
When images are optimised with relevant keywords, they can attract targeted traffic to a website. Users searching for specific images related to a particular topic are more likely to click on an image that appears in the search results. By optimising images with appropriate keywords, website owners can drive relevant traffic to their site, potentially leading to higher conversion rates and engagement.
Faster Page Loading
Images that are not optimised can slow down your website's loading speed, negatively impacting user experience and search engine rankings. optimised images reduce file sizes while maintaining their quality, resulting in faster loading times.
Social Media Sharing
Well-optimised images can also facilitate social media sharing. When users share website content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, the shared content often includes images. If these images are properly optimised, they can attract more engagement, likes, shares, and clicks, leading to increased website traffic and brand exposure.
Reduced Bounce Rate
Images play a significant role in captivating and retaining the attention of website visitors. Optimised images that load quickly and are visually appealing can help reduce the bounce rate, which refers to the percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page. By providing an engaging visual experience, website owners can encourage users to explore more pages and spend more time on their site.
Image SEO Techniques
Image SEO, or search engine optimisation for images, refers to the process of optimising images on a website to improve their visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Implementing effective image SEO techniques can help increase organic traffic to a website and enhance the overall user experience. Here are some key strategies to consider for optimising images for SEO.
Prepare your images
Before uploading images to your Wix website, it's essential to optimize them for web usage. Start by resizing your images to the appropriate dimensions required for your website. Use image editing software like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or online tools like Pixlr or Canva to resize your images.
Once you've resized your images, you can further reduce their file size through compression. Image compression reduces the amount of data stored in an image file without significantly affecting its visual quality. This results in faster loading times for your website.
There are several online image compression tools available that you can use to compress your images. Popular options include TinyPNG, and Optimizilla. These tools allow you to upload your images and compress them while maintaining acceptable visual quality.
Upload compressed images to Wix
After compressing your images, you can proceed to upload them to your Wix website. To do this, log in to your Wix account and access the website editor.
In the editor, navigate to the page or section where you want to add an image. Click on the "Add" button or select the image element from the toolbar. Choose the appropriate image uploading option (e.g., upload from computer, import from media library).
Select the compressed image file from your computer and upload it to your Wix website. Wix will automatically optimise the image further to ensure optimal performance.
Additional tips for image optimisation
Besides compressing your images, there are a few more techniques you can employ to optimise image loading on your Wix website.
Use the correct image format
Choose the appropriate image format based on the content of the image. JPEG is best for photographs and complex images, while PNG is suitable for simple graphics and images with transparent backgrounds. GIF is primarily used for animations.
Optimise image resolution
Ensure that the resolution of your images matches the display requirements of your website. Higher resolution images result in larger file sizes, so adjust the resolution accordingly to balance quality and performance.
Leverage lazy loading
Wix supports lazy loading, a technique where images are loaded only when they come into view on a webpage. This helps improve initial page load times and overall performance.
File naming refers to the process of assigning unique and descriptive names to files stored on a computer or in a digital system. It is an important aspect of organising and managing files effectively. When it comes to file naming, using descriptive names that include relevant keywords is highly recommended.
Instead of using generic or arbitrary names like "IMG1234.jpg" or "Document1.docx," it is more beneficial to use specific names that provide context and information about the file's content. For example, if you have a digital image of a blue widget, naming it "blue-widget.jpg" would be a much more descriptive and informative choice.
The use of specific keywords in file names serves several purposes. Firstly, it helps users easily identify the content of the file without having to open it. By reading the file name, they can get a general idea of what the file contains. This can save time and effort, especially when dealing with a large number of files.
Moreover, descriptive file names are also advantageous for search engines and indexing systems. When you use relevant keywords in file names, it enhances the discoverability of your files. Search engines can analyse the file names and use them as indicators of the file's content. This can significantly improve the chances of your files appearing in search results when someone searches for related keywords.
Additionally, descriptive file names are beneficial for collaborative work and file sharing. When files have meaningful names, it becomes easier for others to understand their purpose and relevance. This is particularly useful in team projects or when files are shared with colleagues or clients.
To create effective file names, it is advisable to include specific details about the file's content. Consider using keywords that accurately describe the subject matter or main elements of the file. For example, if you have a presentation about renewable energy sources, a suitable file name could be "renewable-energy-presentation.pptx."
When naming files, it's important to adhere to certain guidelines and best practices.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Try to keep file names reasonably short while still conveying the necessary information. Long file names can become cumbersome and may be truncated in certain systems.
Use hyphens or underscores: When separating words within a file name, it is advisable to use hyphens ("-") or underscores ("_") rather than spaces. This improves readability and ensures compatibility across different operating systems and platforms.
Avoid special characters: To maintain compatibility and avoid potential issues, it is generally recommended to avoid special characters, such as slashes ("/"), question marks ("?"), exclamation marks ("!"), or asterisks ("*") in file names.
Be consistent: Establish a consistent file naming convention across your files and folders. This helps maintain organisation and facilitates easier retrieval of files when needed.
Alt text, short for alternative text, is a textual description that is added to images on websites or other digital platforms. Its purpose is to provide information about the image to users who are unable to see the image, such as those who use screen readers or have visual impairments. Additionally, alt text plays a significant role in helping search engines understand the content of images, which can improve the overall accessibility and search engine optimisation (SEO) of a webpage.
When adding alt text to an image, it is essential to create a concise and accurate description that conveys the meaning or purpose of the image. The alt text should provide enough information to give a clear understanding of the image without being too lengthy or irrelevant. It is crucial to strike a balance between descriptive and concise alt text to ensure a positive user experience.
Incorporating relevant keywords naturally within the alt text is also beneficial. By using keywords that are relevant to the image and the overall content of the webpage, you can help search engines recognise the context and relevance of the image. However, it's important to avoid keyword stuffing or using excessive keywords that do not accurately describe the image, as this can be seen as spammy and negatively impact the user experience.
When creating alt text, consider the following guidelines
Be descriptive: Clearly describe the content and purpose of the image using concise language. Focus on conveying the essential information rather than providing a detailed analysis.
Use keywords naturally: Include relevant keywords that accurately describe the image, but avoid overusing or forcing keywords into the alt text. The text should read naturally and be easily understandable.
Avoid redundancy: If the information in the image is already conveyed in the surrounding text, you can provide a more concise alt text that adds additional context or clarifies the image further.
Be mindful of context: Consider the context in which the image appears and ensure the alt text aligns with the surrounding content. The alt text should make sense and contribute to the overall message of the webpage.
Don't use "image of" or "picture of" unnecessarily: The fact that it's alt text already implies that it's an image. Instead, focus on describing the image's content and purpose.
An image sitemap is a specialised type of sitemap that is designed specifically for search engines to discover and index images on a website. It serves as a roadmap for search engine crawlers, providing them with information about the images on your site, such as their location, caption, title, and other relevant metadata. By creating an image sitemap, you can enhance the visibility and discoverability of your images in search engine results.
The main purpose of an image sitemap is to help search engines understand the context and relevance of the images on your website. While search engines have become more sophisticated in analysing and indexing visual content, providing them with additional information through an image sitemap can greatly improve their understanding and ultimately increase the chances of your images appearing in relevant search results.
Here are some key benefits of creating an image sitemap:
Improved image indexing
By including images in a sitemap, you make it easier for search engines to find and crawl your images. This increases the chances of your images being indexed and displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs).
When your images are properly indexed, they have the potential to appear in image search results, which can lead to increased visibility and traffic to your website. Users searching for specific images can discover your content and visit your site as a result.
Enhanced user experience: Image search is a popular feature that allows users to find relevant visual content. By optimising your images and providing detailed information through an image sitemap, you can improve the user experience by making it easier for people to find and access the images they are looking for.
To create an image sitemap, you need to follow a few steps:
Generate a list of your website's image URLs: Identify all the images on your website that you want to include in the image sitemap. Make sure to gather their corresponding URLs and relevant metadata such as image captions, titles, and alt text.
Create an XML sitemap file: An XML sitemap is a standardised file format used by search engines to understand the structure and content of your website. You can create an XML sitemap manually or use various online tools or plugins that can generate the sitemap for you.
Add image-specific tags to the XML sitemap
Once you have your XML sitemap, you need to add image-specific tags to provide search engines with additional information about your images. These tags include <image>, <caption>, <title>, <geo_location>, and <licence>, among others.
Submit the image sitemap to search engines
After creating and updating your image sitemap, you need to submit it to search engines for indexing. Most search engines provide webmaster tools or search console platforms where you can submit your sitemap.
Monitor and update the image sitemap
It's important to regularly monitor your image sitemap to ensure it remains up to date. If you add or remove images from your website, make sure to update the image sitemap accordingly and resubmit it to search engines.
Applying Image SEO in Wix
Applying image SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is crucial for improving your website's visibility in search engine results and attracting more organic traffic. When it comes to creating a website on the Wix platform, you have access to various built-in features and tools to optimize your images for SEO. These features allow you to enhance your images' relevance, load time, and accessibility, ultimately improving your website's overall SEO performance.
Here are some ways you can apply image SEO in Wix:
Wix automatically optimises images uploaded to the platform. However, you can further enhance optimisation by following the techniques mentioned above, such as using descriptive file names and adding alt text.
Custom File Names and Alt Text
In Wix, you can easily edit the file name and alt text of an image. Simply click on the image, select "Settings," and provide the desired information in the respective fields.
Wix allows you to add metadata to your images. Metadata includes information like title & description which can help search engines understand the context and relevance of the image.
Image Loading Speed
Wix's built-in image optimisation ensures faster loading times. However, you can further improve performance by choosing appropriate image file formats (JPEG for photographs, PNG for transparent images) and avoiding excessive use of large images on a single page.
Optimising images for better SEO on your Wix website is essential to enhance user experience, improve search engine rankings, and drive organic traffic. By implementing image SEO techniques such as compression, file naming, alt text, and utilising Wix's image optimisation features effectively, you can maximise the visibility and impact.
If you would like to learn advanced SEO strategies on how to optimise the pages on your Wix website and blog, check out our Wix SEO Course and take your knowledge to a whole new level.